Mystery over Satanist slaughter
The killings triggered fear and revulsion in the historic city of Yaroslavl, 150 miles north of Moscow, when the youngsters' remains were discovered there in June.
Eight people, all under 19, were arrested in connection with the murders last month.
Police say Varya Kuzmina was the final victim, but her mother, Galina, has spoken out with a different theory. Her belief that her daughter is still alive is backed up by her view that the investigation was bungled by an apathetic police force. She thinks a huge mystery remains about what really happened.
“I'm sure, as are others, that there's an adult behind the gang,” she said. “I've spoken to several psychics and they all say the eight arrested were just pawns.”
One local cult specialist agreed – also saying the murders failed to follow the established rituals of Satanic sacrifice.
The police declined to comment on either of those theories. However, Yury Boldyreva, head of the police investigating committee, said: “The victims, and the perpetrators, weren't friends, but they all knew each other. The group were drinking and invited the others to join them. The first night it was two girls. The next, a guy and a girl.”
It's thought the case will come to court in six months. Until then all Varya's mother can do is wait.